17 Jan Ri Kynjai Resort, Borapani, Meghalaya
Beneath the frosty clouds, by the bank of the Borapani Lake(also known as the Umiam lake), where clouds meet the sky, under chilly weather, wrapped around your woolens, you sit by the garden and ponder at the astounding beauty of nature.Really, natural beauty is god gifted. And Borapani at Shillong , Meghalaya is a lake surrounded by unending beauty.While I gasped in wonder, The RiKynjai resort by the lake absolutely drove my breath away. Penning down is one thing, but experiencing such unearth natural beauty is an experience I say. The resort, made completely in a wooden structure, is the best resort in that stretch and a destination in itself ,not just a resort. A stay here is rejuvenating for for the body or mind but the soul is how I would like to adjudicate. For the ones who have visited this resort, am sure they will share the same feelings of bliss that I experienced during my short stay.
Not heavily promoted as a destination like many other north east destinations( what a pity !), this resort is one of its kind.Most under chilly climate across the year, it offers a breathtaking view of the lake, surrounded by the beauty of the greens, the Khasi hills, that overlook the lake and the resort. To get up on a frosty morning overlooking this beauty is heavenly. Surprisingly ,it does not even feature in Zomato.
It was a visit that I planned with my school friends, Ivee,Jumi, and Aditi who I was meeting after decades perhaps on my visit to my hometown, Guwahati.And what better way then meeting up at Ri Kynjai . As with the place; if you want to drive down to this resort from either Guwahati or Shillong you need to book in advance, a day ahead precisely. Its not open for get- crashing or a sudden visit. Located about 30 mins before you reach Shillong, it is situated right near the Borapani lake or rather overlooking the lake. Now Borapani, is a destination that screams for attention on your journey from Guwahati to Shillong. It might take about 1.30 hours from Guwahati while ,just 30 minutes from Shillong. So it’s a place that you plan for a day out if not a stay. Great location ,stupendous view and of course an amazing spread of a buffet as per the culinary dictionary of the North East. While I and Ivee drove down from Shillong( since we were on a trip to Dawki),and returning back to Guwahati, Aditi and Jumi did an adventurous trip to Borapani for the fun of catching up on some fun
While we had planned for a day visit with buffet included, the resort took my breath away. The largeness of the entire wooden décor, the tress, the open outdoors, all are a reflection of the natural beauty that North East can boast of.The huge entrance leads to a wide area for parking, while the main resort is slightly away. As we walked towards the resort,the beauty of the entire structure surrounded by greenery gave me a sense of pride.that yes, I belong to north east, pride of being an regional North Eastern native, pride of being born in Guwahati. And yet, in all these years, I never got a chance to witness this stunning place. Reminiscent of a sprawling wooden bungalow, the resort is widely spread with cottages, while the restaurants is on the ground floor that opens up to a spectacular view of the Borapani lake .What a view. A large spread out of a buffet, the space is wide and vast, settings in wooden furniture laid strategically.The beauty of the restaurant was the well carved wooden furniture of course giving that rustic image which merged well with the overall structure of the resort.
The buffet: Pork Chilly/ Gobi Manchurian/Chicken schewezan/ Ceaser salad/Macaroni and corn salad/ Fish tenga/Jeera rice/ dal/ Chicken curry/Fruit salad and cream/pasty /icecream/A complimentary drink…At Rs 1200, the buffet was a fantastic blend of cusine that depics the culinary dictionary of the north east culture, blending with a little of assamese cusine also, like the fish tenga, a popular Assamese recipe that merged so well with the pork chilly, pork being amongst the most popular meat in the state of Meghalaya. For a food aficionado, and having being born in Assam, it was the perfect spread for me. Yeah, if you travel from a large city, frequenting the 5 stars buffets, you may feel a wee short changed at the spread at the said price, however for the overall breath taking view and considering the culinary habitats of Assam and Meghalaya combined this is a good deal. Not an exotic affair, but well themed out to satiate your cravings in a chilly weather. At this part of the city, the food habits are ruled by the cultural traditions and form a crux of the culinary landscape. Chicken, meat, duck, pork , fish are the base for innumerable tasty dishes which also means that non vegetarian food is what forms the crux of a meal in North East India . Strategically located in between Assam and Meghalaya(Guwahati and Shillong to be precise), the spread is a melange of dishes that combines both the cusines. And what a fine blend I must say. Pork chilli, Chicken Schewezan, Ceaser salad, Gobi Manchrian, Paneer Chilly, Fish Tenga ( A sour fish gravy that signifies staple Assamese cuisine)and rice, Hakka noodles, Paneer gravy, Dal, fruit custard and cream and pastries was all that filled the scrumptious spread. Yeah, since north east primarily is a region that culturally consists of rice eating habits, the Rotis were missing.So for the majority of people who thrive on Rotis rather then rice, this might be a dampener.
For me Pork chilly was the hero of the spread. Prepared Just like chicken chilly, large fat chunks of pork lends its own taste to the dish. With spring onions and capsicum that merges with the slight sauce, it was absolutely scrumptious . The Chicken Schewezan , the salad, the fish tenga were all in good taste, perfect in texture and flavor. The Gobi Manchurian was extraordinarily well done up. crisply batter fried.
For us, the buffet was a stupendous affair that matched up to the overall scenic view , or more so , the view and the experience of that chilly weather ,frosty clouds reining and hovering above the borapani lake was overwhelming. We managed to catch this beautiful experience in lenses which are now flooding our social media timelines. An enriching exhilarating experience which covered up for the buffet even if it wasn’t a large spread in terms of variety. Doesn’t matter really, for Ry Kynjai gives you bountiful of joy to reek in that experience of a lifetime, where the buffet means so little. An analysis on the buffet really doesn’t apply here as you soak in the enthralling spectacular view of the resort. And then for us, the presence of a Mr Khan or more precisely Aamir khan who was holidaying at the resort, celebrating his wife’s birthday was too exciting as an element that lifted our spirits a notch higher.That thought of catching glimpse of Mr Khan was exiting enough to soak in the glory of the resort. Alas, we had to end our day without a chance encounter as we saw a fleeting image of Aamir , through his window, gazing out towards the view of the lake probably ,he, witnessing the beauty of this wonderful resort.
Overall., it was one experience of a lifetime for us, the beauty of the breathtaking view and the picturesque landscape of the Borapani lake surrounded by the hills with blooming flowers that guarded the resort, the cherry blossom , showing off its beauty towering tall amidst the bushes, the resort has a striking personality with a demeanor that exudes ecxtacy, or heavenly bliss that I call. If heaven existed , then this would qualify for calling it heavenly as it fills all the tick boxes. The buffet was decently done up, yes ,it could be perhaps treated better with few additions , considering the pricing that it attracts. But then, comparing the overall view and location, it seems great, for the buffet apart, this resort will surely create memories for you and live you with an enriching experience for a long time. Be it an intimate experience with your loved one or a chilled out session with your group of friends and family, the resort manages to strike a cord and offers an experience that will hold atop in your memories for infinity .That is my guarantee.